I read an IEP guide that says you can request a copy of the student’s file. I have never heard of that before.
Can I request a copy of the files from my child’s school? Before requesting anything, I just want to make sure I’m doing the right thing.
The law that governs your right to view your child’s records is the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
The purposes of FERPA are twofold:
- to ensure that parents have access to their children’s educational records
- to protect the privacy rights of parents and children by limiting access to these records without parental consent
Under FERPA, parents have a right to have access to their children’s educational records.
FERPA requires that the school comply with a parent’s request for access to the student’s records within 45 days of the receipt of a request.
You are not automatically entitled to copies of your child’s records, except under specific circumstances. You may be charged a fee for the copies.
Generally, a school is required to provide copies of education records to a parent if the failure to do so would prevent the parent from exercising the right to inspect and review the records.
The Federal Regulations implementing IDEA also address “Parental entitlement to educational records.”
Access Rights- See 34 CFR 300.613(a) which states that parents must be permitted to
“inspect and review any education records relating to their children,”
and that if a parent requests those records,
“The agency must comply with a request without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding an IEP. . .”
The regulation is located on page 272 in Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition.
You need to read the FERPA statute and regulations. See Chapter 9 in your law book, pages 307-318.
Now you know you can request and review your child’s education record.
14 Step Guide for Record Review
To request your child’s records, write a polite businesslike letter asking for a copy of your son’s file.
In the letter, ask if the school has a photocopying fee and what this fee is.
Include a short paragraph about your son that explains your request.
For example you may say that he is in the 11th grade, is reading at the 2.5 grade level, and that you are afraid he will graduate from school and not be able to read.
Keep your letter short – one page. Offer to help with the photocopying. Offer to pick up the records.
Here’s a step by step guide. 14 Tips for Reviewing Your Child’s Records